International Indoor Hockey festival launched
… biggest tournament confirmed By Allan La Rose
Guyana Chronicle
November 14, 2006

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THE third annual International Indoor Hockey festival, organised and run by the Guyana Hockey Board (GHB), was launched yesterday at the Georgetown Cricket Club’s (GCC) pavilion and according to Guyana’s hockey boss this year’s festival will be the biggest.

“We have received confirmation from teams in T&T, Barbados, Canada and the USA. Twelve foreign teams have confirmed their attendance which, when added to our seven participating local teams, bring the tournament to a total of nineteen, making it the largest one to date and certainly one of the largest International club tournaments in Guyana. This tournament brings to our shores an estimated 180 persons and it fits well with the national Tourism initiative and its development through sports,” President of the GHB Philip Fernandes told a media briefing.

For the third consecutive year Diamond Distillers Limited (DDL) has committed to sponsoring the event which has also secured added sponsorship for a new Veterans category to be included this year.

“DDL has been a great partner of hockey and we have enjoyed working with them on this event over the years and we are grateful for the company’s continued support as the Gold sponsor through the Diamond Mineral Water brand.” Fernandes declared.

Fernandes also informed of the new addition to this year’s festival: “For the first time this year we will be including a Veterans competition in the festival and Carib Beer of Ansa McAl has answered our call for the support of this competition. The veterans of the Region have been clamouring to be included in the festival and have answered with strong support and we see this competition as being one of the most competitive.”

The president also stated that the feature junior exhibition game which is played on the Championship night will once again be held. Like in the past the sponsor will be Chico, Beharry Group of Companies and the age group is eight to thirteen.

“It is so very important to include the children in our development plans and we are pleased to offer them their moment in the spotlight.”

This year’s Festival will also see one of the top Indoor umpires of the Region participating. Trinbagonian Susie Gomes, who has officiated at the previous festivals, will be accompanied by her compatriot Donny Gobinsingh. The festival will be further enhanced by the presence of Pan American Hockey Federation Competition’s committee member, Derek Sandison, who will be observing and assisting with the tournament. The Canadian will also conduct two hockey development workshops during his stay for umpires and technical officials.

Also addressing the media was DDL’s Deputy Manager for Marketing Ms Sharda Veeren-Chand who announced that it was quite simple for her company to endorse this event again, since the past two were well organised and the fact that the teams have increased this year.

Ms Chand also welcomed the support of Ansa McAl, “We believe that Corporate Guyana has a responsibility to play in supporting these events and we are pleased to welcome on board Ansa McAl.”

“For us at DDL and our brand Diamond Mineral Water we are always pleased to be involved with any event that provides for our young Guyanese talent to showcase themselves and we truly believe that this is one such opportunity. We know that the high level of professional displayed in the past will continue and we hope to see a competition of high level this year.”

Assistant Marketing Manager of Ansa McAl, Nigel Worrell, told the briefing that his company “was pleased to be working alongside DDL, a company we have shared sponsorship with in the past”.

“The Hockey Board has demonstrated professional organising abilities and we look forward to sponsoring more hockey events.” Worrell promised.

Besides sponsoring the Veterans competition, Ansa McAl will also sponsor the local veteran side under the name ‘Carib Degenerates’ which is made up of past national players.

A number of cash incentives and prizes will be up for grabs during the November 23-26 event.

The winners of both male and female categories will earn US$1 000 each, while the runners-up will cash in on US$500, each. The champion Veteran side will receive US$500 and the runners-up a trophy while there will also be a number of individual prizes at stake.